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No business can be successful without a strong workforce who understands the importance of teamwork. Often, co-workers are so isolated in their own departments that they don’t know what’s going on elsewhere. This can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and on some occasions, pointing fingers at others. If your business is needing to fix a teamwork problem or you just want to keep the good teamwork going, then try one of these awesome activities.
1. Props and Plays
You might have had a lot of laughs watching a version of this be done on Whose Line is It Anyway, but unfortunately in marketing, everything should not be made up and the points do actually matter. To play Props and Plays, each group will be given a goodie bag filled with interesting objects. Then, they have to make a five minute skit using the objects in the bag.
Tip: Use work-related topics to base the skits off of. This will play over into real-life scenarios.
Bonus: Have co-workers vote about the skit they thought was best. Buy coffee for the winners!
How this works in business: Props and Plays is a fun game that will not only utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills, but also encourage staff members to step out of their comfort zone and try a creative approach to routine tasks at work.
2. The Birthday Game:
The Birthday Game is a great way to teach alternative communication skills to your employees. If you have many employees, divide everyone into groups of about 10. Then, instruct them to line themselves up in order of whose birthday is in the beginning of the year, to whose is last. However, there’s a catch. Nobody can talk or make numbers with their fingers, so they’ll have to figure out their place in line by using other strategies.
Tip: If you have more than one group playing the game, time it and see who can finish the fastest. To spice it up, have people go in line by the year they were born too, not just the day. You can do this in a separate activity.
Bonus: Whoever can remember everyone’s birthday gets a special prize!
How this works in business: While talking is sometimes the main way to communicate, we also rely on writing e-mails, texts, and even body language. This game is used to remind employees to be aware of how they are communicating, whether or not it’s effective, and how to seek out other ways of getting a point across.
3. Pentomino With a Twist
Pentomino is one of the most addicting puzzle games out there, that can be both extremely frustrating and rewarding. Play it with your team members, and it won’t be long until you start to see what each person brings to the table. Get a few sets of Pentomino or buy the larger set to accommodate more people,. Then, set the timer. Group members will have to work together to fill out the entire board.
Tip: Assign each person a different role, such as “do-er”, “leader”, “oversee-er”, and even a person to purposely mess up an almost completed puzzle. After all, part of teamwork is learning to deal with obstacles!
Bonus: Play this game on Mondays and Fridays to see if you can beat your time by the end of the week. Mix up groups every week.
How this works in business: Any puzzle-solving game is a great way to practice teamwork. Encourage employees to use the strategies they used during this game if they face challenges at work.
4. String Positivity
Sometimes at work, we can feel really down about things, and it would take a lot more than an espresso to lift us back up. String Positivity only requires a ball of yarn and a circle. One person starts and throws the ball of yarn to someone else that’s helped them at work in one way or another, and tells them, “Thank you for helping me with ______.” That person wraps it around his or her wrist, then tosses it to someone else who they felt helped him or her. Do this until there is a completed web in the middle.
Tip: Have everyone choose another worker’s name out of a hat so no one has to be last.
Bonus: Make a bracelet of the yarn wrapped around your wrist and hang it on a “teamwork wall” when it falls off!
How this works in business: Remind your employees to have more compassion for their co-workers. Yes, work is work, but sometimes people need some uplifting to start the day off right.
5. Workplace Debate
This is a fun one that can also get serious, but the results will have long-lasting effects. Divide your co-workers into groups, and get ready to have a debate. Present complicated ethical issues that arise in a workplace, such as who should be responsible for what job, how to deal with a a complicated customer, or what strategies are more effective than others.
Tip: Without creating too much controversy, implement debate topics that may be currently trending at your work. Ask employees to contribute debate topics in a suggestion box.
Bonus: Have a group discussion after each debate and have everyone point out constructive criticisms and positive feedback for others.
How this works in business: For one, publicly speaking about a topic you might not necessarily agree with can be hard, but it’s part of business. It helps aid confidence when speaking with potential customers, and helps people create connections between different ideas. It also reminds everyone that despite personal opinions, you still need to be open to other ideas.